Social media marketing has been around for a while, and it’s going nowhere anytime soon. It is a good way for businesses to drum up fresh leads, simply because of the rule of marketing. Go where the people are.
In most cases, that’s Facebook, but there are others too. Figure out where your target customers are and then get to work reaching them. It’s likely to be Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, but for visual businesses such as Florists or designers, not to be ignored are Pinterest or perhaps even Snap Chat.
Once you’ve determined where your target customers hang out online, then you can get to work with the following three methods to engage with people on social media.
3 Ways to Reach and Engage Potential Customers Using Social Media
1. Know who’s relevant and who’s not
There are two lists you need to know before you begin following and interacting with people on any social media platform – relevant people and those who aren’t relevant to your business. Many a small business and even some larger enterprises make the fatal mistake of following the competition. There’s absolutely no point in doing that as they are not going to buy from you. As an example, a vehicle tyre retailer will have no benefit to following Euro Car Parts. They’d be competition. There’s no harm in using other tracking tools to monitor the campaigns of competitors, but not to make it visible to your target audience.
Your target audience on all social media platforms are the people who are likely to buy from you. Not poach your followers if you’re silly enough to promote a competitors’ sale perhaps undercutting you on price.
What you can do though is associate your business with other non-competing businesses locally. Say, the local bakery, the bowling alley, local restaurants – businesses where potential buyers of what you sell are likely to resonate with yours. Direct competitors though, there’s no point in reaching out to them.
2. Consider Paying Facebook, but only on your specific terms
Facebook is where everyone is. That’s a problem for the smaller sized business with not much of a presence. For organic reach to grow naturally and attract visitors from Facebook to your site, you can expect to need a good few hundred followers. Ten won’t get you much audience attention.
When your following and reach on Facebook is limited, sponsored placements can really bolster your reach on the platform. Providing you go about it carefully, it can be done on a budget. The most budget friendly type of ad campaign to run on Facebook is that of retargeting. For this type of paid placement, when a new visitor lands on your website, their browser will have a cookie placed on it. That will trigger your advertisement on Facebook when they next log in. This is ideal for visitors who have already expressed an interest by being on your website in the first place.
The other type of ad you may want to consider is the boost option, otherwise known and shown as sponsored. However, always approach paid placement with caution by specifying a budget limit and using the geo-filters to target customers in your target demographic area/post code.
3. Keep value front of mind before sharing anything
Everything you do on social media is marketing your business because your brand name is associated with it. Follow the 80/20 rule of marketing because nobody likes to be sold to, especially on social networking sites.
80% of the material you share should be to only engage with your audience. That can be funny videos, entertaining short videos of only a couple of minutes long and nothing that’ll take a while for people to watch. Entertaining always work, but be careful that what you share cannot be perceived as offensive, such as a prank video you find entertaining, but to someone else could be construed as being of a bullying or harassing nature.
Articles of interest to your target audience make for ideal shares on all social platforms. As do any local business running a promotions sale that your customers would be interested to know about. For small sized local businesses, communities like to see their local businesses work together on social channels but they will not appreciate it if you continually self-promote your own stuff.
For every five shares on any social media platform, only one of those should be self-serving. Take a look down your timeline on Facebook and see if you’re meeting that requirement and if you’ve a higher ratio than 1:5 for your promotional updates, make changes to your sharing strategy. The aim is to engage on social media and not to sell, which is why sharing links to valuable information either on your website, or off-site that would benefit your target audience is the best way to keep people engaging with your company.
If possible, always be connecting with the customers who do business with you. It’s the simplest way to increase the amount of reviews your business gets, either on some social media sites with the review feature, or on another independent review site such as Trust Pilot.
The benefit to reaching existing customers is that you get to showcase their positive experiences with your businesses on your page and their own personal timeline that all their connections see. That’s a sure fast way to grow your following, and it’s also helpful to your business to remember quality service consistently because bad press spreads faster than good press. Always strive to be better than the rest and provide value in everything you do. What never to do is engage in rat-a-tat disputes publicly.
Keep everything professional, and treat your social media presence as an extension to your customer services. It’s not just a channel to promote your business. You can use social media to extend your support to existing customers too. How you handle situations will be another way of marketing your business efficiently across social media.